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A leader is a person to whom everyone looks up to. All of us come across different kinds of leaders in our walks of life; right from our very home to our workplace, from our surroundings to our country. On reading the biographies of great leaders, you might have noticed the various incidents in their childhood that shaped their attitude towards life.
What Is Leadership?
The words ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’ are spoken so easily that very few truly understand what they actually mean. Many confuse leadership with position or power. However, in children, leadership tends to indicate the innate ability of a child to gather different people and help everyone work together towards a singular goal. This includes developing the path to be followed and the best way to reach the destination.
Essential Qualities Needed to Become a Good Leader
Any person can become a leader, but every person cannot be said to be a good leader. There are certain qualities that a leader must possess if he wants people to believe in him and look up to him. Following are the qualities of a good leader:
- Before people can believe in a leader, a leader needs to believe in himself. He needs to be honest with himself as well as with others to form a bond of trust and faith.
- A leader should be dedicated and practical. He should not be influenced by his own emotions or prejudices.
- A person to become a good leader should possess listening skills, i.e. he should listen to what others are saying. A good leader considers the opinions of other people and acknowledges them as well.
- Being fair is also one of the leadership qualities needed to become a good leader. He acknowledges suggestions and opinions that work towards achieving the goal, without having any bias towards who put them forward or how.
- Decision-making skills are also one of the main qualities required to become a good leader. The goal can be achieved by making the right decisions, and this is one of the strongest abilities that need to be present in a leader.
Nobody likes a dictator or an autocrat. A leader is one who maintains a positive attitude and motivates people, is not egoistic and enjoys some humour too.
Why Is It Important to Cultivate Leadership Skills in Kids?
Learning something early in life helps you get better at it in the future. Apart from all the technical skills, leadership also is one of the important skills that can make your child stand out from the rest.
- The core of leadership is confidence and the ability to believe in yourself. To be able to move ahead in life, your child needs to believe in his own abilities and have the confidence to try out new activities. Leadership skills help him with that.
- Social skills are paramount in the world. Being able to give your opinion and lead a team can only work when your communication skills are strong and you can express your thoughts lucidly.
- The world today needs more leaders and entrepreneurs who can shift the traditional methods and make way for better ways to lead our lives. To have such leaders, we need to sculpt our children and make them strong to be able to face competition and create an identity for themselves.
15 Ways to Inculcate Leadership Skills in Children
In order to know how to teach your child leadership skills, there are a bunch of points you can keep in mind in your everyday life.
1. Be an Example
It all starts at home. Let your child look up to you as a leader and inspire him to become one. This is the greatest way to let your child move in the right direction.
2. Put Together a Team
Schedule some activities that he can enjoy with a group of friends or other kids. These could be as simple as playing a sport or going on a picnic, where he gets a chance to work together as a team.
3. When You Fall, Rise Again
Teach your child to handle failure gracefully, tell him to consider failure as a learning opportunity. Teach him to accept his mistakes and give it another shot by doing better.
4. Negotiation Is a Skill
Some children work by compromising. If your child is stubborn or too complacent, gently teach him to choose between options that seem to be the best, or present options to you when confronted with a choice.
5. Let Them Make Decisions
Let him make decisions for himself at first, deciding what clothes to wear, or what he’d like to eat. As he grows old, let him pick a movie to watch for the entire family or a list of holiday destinations where everyone can enjoy.
6. Tiny Acts of Confidence
A person becomes confident with time, as and when the situation comes, he learns to handle them and one success gives him confidence. Let your kids start doing small activities that you’d usually do for them. These include letting the restaurant server know what everyone will eat, or get grocery from the shop and negotiate the price.
7. Work Develops Humility
By encouraging your child to help out with activities at home, or helping a neighbour out, or even starting his own club or a stall at a fair, you expose your child to a potential leadership situation.
8. Make Him Join a Camp
Various summer camps allow your kid to interact with numerous children and learn how everyone behaves and completes the tasks assigned to them. This way your kid will learn to work all by himself, and working on own and taking decisions all by himself will instil leadership qualities in him.
9. Be a Family
Keep away those phones at night and play a board game or a card game together as a family. While enjoying this family moment, your child will learn various skills of interacting with people and making strategic decisions too.
10. Start a Project
Ask your kid to work on a small project, like making a gift for dad, or deciding the place and menu for a picnic. Let him take some help from his friends, this way he will learn to make decisions and work together as a team. These qualities will later help him in life.
11. Give Them a Board
The feeling of arranging various sticky notes and organizing objects properly can inculcate a feeling of achievement. By organizing objects in the right manner he will obviously learn to organize things, but this little work of organizing will also help him clear his thoughts. He will also learn to prioritise his work.
12. Avoid Spoon Feeding
Let your child learn by himself. Avoid providing any help or advice unless he asks for it. Allowing your child to work on his own and handle a situation all by himself, you help in developing problem-solving skills in him. And problem-solving skills are essential to become a good leader.
13. Get Him a Mentor
If your child shows interest in a particular field, look for experts in that area and ask them if they could guide your child. This can be of great help in creating a future leader. Your child will be able to guide others too in future if you nurture his talent in childhood.
14. Read a Lot
Not just you, but let your child join in, too. Reading books and articles helps expand the horizon of his mind and be open to new ideas.
15. Reward Optimism
Make sure you encourage your child whenever he looks at an obstacle positively and makes efforts to overcome it and keep a positive attitude.
Activities That Help Build Leadership Qualities in Kids
There are some fun leadership activities for kids that can help them develop the qualities required to become a good leader.
1. Egg Transfer
Working as a group, let the leader decide how best to pass an egg from one end to another. Coming up with creative ideas is a bonus.
2. Draw Me
Let children draw themselves on a piece of paper and then present themselves as a project talking about their skills and dreams.
3. Listening Carefully
Pair up kids as a speaker and a listener and let the speaker talk about his own life and family. You can quiz the listener around various aspects he spoke about and check how well he can recollect them. This will develop the listening skills which are important to become a good leader.
4. Lead the Blind
Make a group of children. Each group will have a leader. Blindfold the group members of each team and the respective leaders of each team, who are not blindfolded, will have to lead the entire team to a safe spot using clear and precise commands from a distance.
5. Similarities and Differences
Let children talk about what is similar between them and another person and what is different. This helps in accepting everyone as equal and foster friendships.
The brilliant minds of today are the leaders of tomorrow. But these minds require the right guidance and training to be able to lead in the future. By encouraging the proper skills and introducing great activities, you can take the appropriate steps in shaping your child into a confident individual.
Also Read: Teaching Life Skills to Children